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This route leads six miles one way along Laughingwater Creek to three alpine lakes on the parks southeastern boundary.

This trail leads eastward from State Road 123 six miles along Laughingwater Creek. It winds and climbs through dense forest to three alpine lakes on the parks southeastern boundary. The trail continues eastward beyond Three Lakes Camp to eventually join the Pacific Crest Trail.

Begin this trail approximately one mile south of the Stevens Canyon Entrance along Highway 123. There is a small parking area on the western side of the road slightly north of the trailhead. There are no facilities at this trailhead.

From the trailhead the route ascends moderately for the first half mile to gain the crest of a small ridge. Near the top of the ridge the trail comes very close to Laughingwater Creek and begins to parallel its northern bank. The trail continues to ascend, but gently for the next two miles as it leads north along the ridge then turns eastward and crosses a flat meadow area. Beyond the meadow the trail continues to follow the stream in a gentle ascent and crosses two small streams.

Shortly after the second stream crossing the trail veers northward, away from the stream, and ascends 240 feet up a ridge. The trail then begins to contour that ridge for a mile eventually paralleling Laughingwater Creek again. In the last mile and a half the trail ascends 400 feet to a third stream crossing, then crosses a narrow ridge before crossing Laughingwater Creek. Beyond this stream crossing the route descends 120 feet to the first of Three Lakes.

At the lakes you'll find a rangers cabin and camping area. There are three primitive sites at this location with a vault toilet. The third lake is a short walk eastward from the campsites.

Directions: From Ohanapecosh, Drive one mile north on State Road 123, park on the west side of the road at Laughingwater Creek. The trailhead is across the highway on the eastern side of the road.

Elevation: 2,150 feet

Ending Elevation: 4,700 feet

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Moderate

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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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